In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayaat 222 – 223
When one says Islam is a complete code of life, there is nothing false about the statement. In the Qur’an, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has touched almost every topic that pertains to a major aspect of our lives. These two ayaat provide us the guidelines for marital relations.
“And they ask you about menstruation. Say, ‘It is harm, so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you.’ Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” [al-Baqarah 2: 222]
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala prohibits husband and wife from having intercourse when the wife is going through her monthly cycle. This is again a relief for the wife because for some women menstruation is painful and taxing both physically and emotionally.
Why was this mentioned in the Qur’an? It was because when the Muslims saw the Jew isolating their wives during their cycles and not eating or mingling with them, and saw the Christians carrying on with their routine lives it concerned the Muslims. They wanted to know what stand they should take and hence approached the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with their question. At that time, this ayah was revealed and the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
اصْنَعُوا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا النِّكَاح
“Do everything you wish, except having sexual intercourse.”
Islam does not ask to isolate the woman and treat her as though she has been inflicted with plague. Islam takes into consideration the emotional state of the woman and therefore, prohibits men from having intercourse during these days. It is, however, allowed to fondle the wife, sleep next to her, share meals with her and enjoy her company.
‘Aishah radhiAllahu ‘anha narrates, “While having the menses, I used to eat from a piece of meat and give it to the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) who would eat from the same place I ate from. I used to have sips of a drink and would then give the cup to the Prophet who would place his mouth where I placed my mouth.”
A woman should know that she is not allowed to pray during menstruation or make up for the missed prayers. However, if she misses any obligatory fasts then she is to make them up. A woman cannot perform Tawaf or enter a Masjid during these days and is to stay away from the prayer area. Once she is purified, she must return to her regular worship without any delay. A woman should also not touch the Mus-Haf [hard copy of the Qur’an] or recite it as part of her daily recitation unless she is a Qur’an student or teacher. Should there be a need to touch it she must use a barrier such as gloves or a piece of cloth. A Hafidha, however, is allowed to review her lesson lest she might forget what she has memorized of the Qur’an.
“And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where Allah has ordained for you,” indicates that men can have sexual intercourse with their wives after they have taken ritual bath [ghusl]. The scholars agree that the woman is obliged to take a bath, or to perform Tayammum with sand, if she is unable to use water, before she is allowed to have sexual intercourse with her husband, after the monthly period ends. Ibn `Abbas said, “until they are pure,” means from blood, and, “when they have purified themselves,” means with water.
Islam Prohibits Anal Sex
Upon giving permission to have sexual intercourse, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala stated, “…come to them from where Allah has ordained for you.” This means the place of birth or vagina because the purpose of marriage is not only to enjoy one another but also to have children. By saying, حَيْثُ أَمَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has prohibited any other act that contradicts the Fitrah [natural discourse]. It is only when one has exposed themselves to prohibited content that they go against the Fitrah. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala help us and guide us, aameen.
If anyone has committed such a thing then one can repent and change their ways because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala loves the tawwabeen [repenters].
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Love the Constantly Repentant and the Pure
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says that He loves those who are constantly repentant and keep themselves pure. We have mentioned the virtues of constant repentance in our study of the book: When Will You Repent?
As for purity, remember that it means both physical and spiritual purity. One should look after their personal hygiene and maintain a healthy appearance. Spiritual cleansing means that that we should not associate any partners with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. It includes giving more value to the sayings of our spouses, our families or our loved ones than the commands of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. It includes attributing favors to other people rather than the Maalik-ul-Asbab. These are different forms of Shirk that we need to stay away from. Spiritual cleansing also means keeping our minds and hearts clean from impure thoughts. We should not fantasize things that are impermissible in our Deen and block the door of all kinds of haram. Let us aim for a higher standard of faith.
Ayah 223 – Your Wives are a Tilth
“Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish and put forth [righteousness] for yourselves. And fear Allah and know that you will meet Him. And give good tidings to the believers.” [al-Baqarah 2: 223]
Why was this ayah revealed? Al-Bukhari records that a Jew said to a Companion radhiAllahu ‘anhu that if someone had intercourse with his wife from behind (in the vagina) the offspring would become cross-eyed. In order to refute their false statement, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala revealed this ayah and said as long as the place is the place of pregnancy the position does not matter.
Women are soil that their husbands are to cultivate. It means that the purpose of marriage is not only to fulfill one’s desires but one main purpose is to have offspring. As a farmer looks after his farm to harvest its produce, a husband must look after the well-being of his wife. She is not a housekeeper, a child-bearing machine or a sex object but a human being with emotions and needs, and should therefore be treated with love and care as a farmer treats his farm. Those men who marry women in other countries and live abroad should think about the harm they are causing to someone else’s daughter.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “…and put forth (righteousness) for yourselves,” meaning, by having righteous children you will be building continuous charity for yourself. Whatever good deed your child will perform your status in the Hereafter will be increased. It also means perform the acts of worship while refraining from whatever Allah has prohibited. One can only enjoy the benefits of having a righteous child when they raise them on the right path. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala reminds us of our meeting with Him when we will be held accountable for our deeds. It is a meeting that we should be prepared for.
“Give good tiding to the believers,” meaning those who obey Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, follow that which He has commanded and stay away from that which He has prohibited.
Du’a for Protecting One’s Child from Satan’s Treachery
Al-Bukhari also reported that Ibn ‘Abbas narrated that Allah’s Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
لَوْ أَنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ إِذَا أَرَادَ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ أَهْلَهُ قَالَ: بِاسْمِ اللهِ، اللَّهُمَّ جَنِّبْنَا الشَّيْطَانَ وَجَنِّبِ الشَّيْطَانَ مَا رَزَقْتَنَا، فَإنَّهُ إِنْ يُقَدَّرْ بَيْنَهُمَا وَلَدٌ فِي ذلِكَ، لَمْ يَضُرَّهُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَبَدًا
“If anyone of you on having sexual relations with his wife said: ‘In the Name of Allah. O Allah! Protect us from Satan and also protect what you bestow upon us (i.e., the coming offspring) from Satan,’ and if it is destined that they should have a child then, Satan will never be able to harm him.”
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